Review: KeepTruckin ELD Device

A full ELD compliant device with tons of useful tools to help your business run efficiently, cut costs, and increase profits. KeepTruckin ELD is the best solution for your fleet.

KeepTruckin is the industry leader in electronic logging devices (ELDs). Their solution includes one of the best ELD devices on the market today, and they have a low initial and monthly cost but packs a ton of useful features. Users rate Keep Truckin’s device highly, and we place it on top of our review of ELD devices.

The introduction of new ELDs onto the market has given fleet owners and drivers a wide range of options to choose from. These new devices help improve driving performance and make compliance with regulations effortless.

KeepTruckin ELD

Pros

  • Full compliance with the ELD Mandate
  • Automatic logging of HOS which is automatically audited to detect any violations.
  • User-friendly in-cab gateway (the app)
  • Electronic Logbook can be used without the device but that will violate ELD rules so this mode should only be used by drivers that are not required to keep RODS.
  • 24/7 customer support is on hand to answer all the technical questions you might have.
  • The device is small and does not take up much space in your cab.
  • The Electronic Logbook creates a lot of reports that can used to run your operation more efficiently to save money and increase revenue.
  • It comes with features that create videos and reports of incidents to help you determine which drivers need further training.
  • The device is very easy to install by any driver
  • It is the most popular solution on the market and one of the most affordable.
  • Compatible with every truck on the road today

Cons

  • No tiered pricing

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KeepTruckin’s ELD scores exceptionally high on our reviews list for its low cost, quality, and functionality.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) introduced the ELD Mandate in 2015 and required all drivers to install a compliant device by the end of 2017.

Some drivers already had electronic logging devices in their vehicles but quickly found that those devices did not meet all the requirements under the ELD Mandate. Those drivers were given a deadline of the end of 2019 to install a compliant device.

KeepTruckin has already been making electronic logbooks for years and had the expertise to bring out new devices that meet the provisions of the ELD Mandate.

Our Keep Truckin ELD reviews are here to help you find the best devices for your specific needs.

KEEPTRUCKIN ELD DEVICE

The ELD device from KeepTruckin scores very high among device users in the trucking industry. It has a near-perfect rating, and the cost of the system is relatively low.

The lower price of their device is not because they have an inferior product. It has more to do with the fact that it is the number one product on the market and used by a larger number of drivers than its competitors.

Its popularity is down to its user-friendliness, affordable price, tons of useful features, and easy installation.

Components

The device itself is a simple device that connects to the vehicle’s Engine Control Module (ECM) and delivers data to an app on a smartphone or a tablet. It doesn’t require the installation of additional screens in the cab, although you can do that if you want one. The app runs on iOS (iPhones and iPads) and Android devices. The device automatically logs drivers HOS and help maintain compliance with the ELD Mandate.

You’ll need a monthly subscription in addition to the initial setup cost to keep using the device. We’ll go into more detail about the cost later in this review.

The device uses a cellular connection to send data back to the dispatcher so you can keep an eye on the vehicle’s location, performance, and driver HOS (Hours of Service) compliance.

The KeepTruckin App

KeepTruckin Logbook App

The ELD device does not come with an integrated screen, so it relies on drivers and fleet owners to install the KeepTruckin App on a compatible smartphone or tablet (all iPhones, iPads, and most Android devices are compatible) to receive and display the information.

This KeepTruckin Electronic Logbook App is an editable logbook that was introduced prior to the ELD Mandate to replace the paper logbook. Drivers used to enter their HOS hours manually into the electronic logbook.

However, the ELD Mandate requires that the data should be logged automatically. The KeepTruckin ELD device and the Electronic Logbook work together to comply with the requirements of the rule. The device automatically logs the HOS and alerts the driver if they are about to violate the rule.

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Why KeepTruckin ELD is so Highly Rated by Users

KeepTruckin ELD is one of the top-rated ELD devices among drivers and fleet owners. This is down to a few reasons:

  • Vast list of practical and useful features
  • Excellent technical support
  • Relatively low cost
  • Easy rule compliance

Features

The electronic logging device from this manufacturer packs a ton of useful features that help owners better manage their fleet. They help maintain compliance and optimize the operation of your business. Some of the most useful features include:

  • Automatic HOS logging
  • Automatic International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reporting
  • GPS
  • Asset management and tracking
  • Fuel Optimization
  • Vehicle Diagnostics
  • Document Management
  • Log Auditing
  • Dash Cam monitoring
  • Geofencing
  • Direct messaging between driver and base
  • Driver Scorecards
  • Facility Insights
  • Driver Performance Optimization

Customer Support Services

The customer service from KeepTruckin is second to none. They have highly-trained technical support staff that is on call 24/7. You can contact them via telephone, social media, email, and live chat.

Their agents are very friendly, respectful, and ready to address any difficulties you may come across.

Affordable Compliance Solution

It can be expensive to conform to all the regulations in the trucking industry because of paperwork and the extra administration time that is used to make sure all the paper logs are up-to-date. Even old electronic logs require the driver to manually record their HOS, which can take up to 15 minutes per trip per driver. Errors can be made when entering data manually, which can lead to fines. All these can add up to a high cost per year.

KeepTruckin’s ELD cuts down on the need for paperwork and does most of the work automatically. Drivers simply need to login to their profile, and the device will automatically record when the vehicle is moving.

You get this level of automation and others at an incredibly low cost of about $20 per month per vehicle. This makes it an extremely affordable solution for trucking businesses of all sizes.

How KeepTruckin Devices Transmit Data

The device can connect to cellular networks to send and download data. It can also connect to a WiFi hotspot to send and receive data.

The device connects to the driver’s smartphone or tablet via USB or Bluetooth but relays information back to the office using the built-in cellular capability.

Some devices use only a cell Up/Down connection to send information to the driver’s tablet or smartphone. This creates an issue where the device stops recording HOS and other data when the truck drives through an area with poor cellular connection. This can lead to non-compliance and a fine.

KeepTruckin devices continue to log HOS and other data, even when there’s no cellular coverage, and transmits this to the driver’s phone or tablet via Bluetooth or USB. The data is then transmitted back to the office when the device regains cellular connection.

This is why they offer a 100% guarantee on compliance with their devices.

The Use of Cellular Connection

The cellular connection is not essential for compliance but a way for other functions like location tracking and firmware updates to function. It also allows the device to transmit real-time information back to the office so fleet managers can keep a better eye on their operation.

The ELD device can be compliant without cellular connection because it still logs the required data and transmits it via USB or Bluetooth.

Having the cellular connection allows you to keep track of your vehicle’s location, compliance status, and performance regardless of whether the driver is required to keep Records of Duty Status (RODS) or not.

The device allows managers to access real-time data such as driver driving style, errors, fuel data, GPS, speed, and IFTA. Managers can also tell if any of their drivers are in danger of non-compliance. Basically, you need the cellular connection to ensure your drivers are sticking to your rules on the road.

How to Install and Assign the Device

The device is very easy to install and assign. Drivers can install it without the help of managers. Follow the steps below to install and assign the KeepTruckin ELD:

  • Connect the appropriate cable that comes with the device to the vehicle’s diagnostic port. The device supports a 6-pin, 9-pin, or an OBDII diagnostics port. Make sure the cables are securely attached.
  • Plug the other end of the cable into the corresponding port on the ELD device. Make sure the screws on the 15-pin connector are tightened securely.
  • The indicator lights on the device should flash and then turn to a non-flashing red. This indicates a successful installation. The indicator light on the left side of the device will turn green to indicate a successful GPS connection. Move to an area with better cellular signal if this does not happen.
  • Then it’s time to mount the ELD device on your dashboard using the adhesive strip attached to the back of the device. Pick an area on the dashboard that is shielded by the windscreen and free of other electronics that might cause interference. Wipe the area clean with the alcohol swab that comes with the device. Remove the strip of plastic covering the adhesive strip and stick the device onto the cleaned area.

Operating the Device

Here are the steps you need to follow to operate the ELD device:

  • After adding a vehicle (which you did in the steps above), select “Options” and then “Edit Vehicle”.
  • Select “+ Assign ELD” from the options.
  • Select the right ELD, which corresponds to the serial number printed on the device. There’s also an option to manually type in the serial number into the search field to find the right ELD faster.
  • Press “Save” to complete the assignment.

Multiple drivers can use the same device to log their RODS. They each simply need to have a separate KeepTruckin Electronic Logbook account.

Each driver needs to connect their smartphone or tablet, which contains the Electronic Logbook App, to the ELD device via Bluetooth or USB before starting each trip. They then need to log in or be already logged in to their account on the App for the device to start recording HOS.

The driver then needs to disconnect their mobile device from the ELD device so the next person can start a new ELD session with the Electronic Logbook account.

The Cost of KeepTruckin ELD

The device costs $149.99 plus a $20 monthly fee per vehicle for the “starter” Electronic Logbook App account and $35 for the “pro.”

Other providers have prices ranging from $23 to $70 per month per vehicle.

You only need to sign up for a one-year contract with KeepTruckin, while other providers require three to five years contracts.

This clearly shows that this is the cheapest of the top ELD providers.

How Does the Device Record Off-Duty Time?

The device automatically starts logging your HOS when you are connected to the ELD device and logged into your Electronic Logbook account. The device considers the vehicle to be in motion when it moves at 5MPH or faster.

Strick HOS rules means you must always have the ELD device working if you’re required to keep RODS. It must be on even if you’re just moving the vehicle around the yard. This can affect your HOS driving hours if you don’t have the right ELD device.

The FMCSA recognizes this problem and has made provisions to make it possible for drivers to keep their off-duty driving time off their HOS driving time logs.

The KeepTruckin device makes it easy to differentiate between driving time and yard driving time. It’s as simple as indicating your personal conveyance status to clarify the time spent driving in the yard as off-duty or on duty. The device then handles the rest.

Can You Tamper With the KeepTruckin Device?

The device manufacturer has implemented a few things to protect the log from user manipulation. It records HOS using GPS time to prevent drivers and managers from cheating by changing the time on their smartphones and tablets.

The device still records driving time even when you do not connect it to your mobile device. This prevents drivers from cheating by deliberately disconnecting from their Electronic Logbook account for long stretches of the journey.

The ELD device will also log any abnormal driving instances and transmit them to the KeepTruckin servers when you eventually reconnect it to your mobile device.

KeepTruckin ELD Review

The KeepTruckin ELD solution uses a combination of standalone hardware and an App to comply with the ELD Mandate fully. The hardware device plugs into your vehicle’s diagnostics port to record data from the vehicle’s engine management system.

It automatically detects when the vehicle is in motion and creates a log for the connected driver. Drivers need to download the KeepTruckin Electronic Logbook App onto their smartphones or tablets and connect it to the device via Bluetooth or USB. They must then log in to their account on the App and select a vehicle to begin their journey. The device automatically logs their HOS for the trip.

The KeepTruckin ELD is the most affordable solution of all the top providers on the market. The hardware costs $149.99 per vehicle and an additional $20 or $35 per month per vehicle.

There’s a free teaser plan for the electronic logbook, which gives you access to electronic logs, messaging, and vehicle inspections.

The $20 per month “starter plan” gives you access to all the features of the free plan and full ELD compliance, geofencing, GPS, alerts, and document management.

The $35 per month “Pro plan” gives you access to all features of the “starter plan” plus vehicle diagnostics, IFTA reporting, driver scorecards, vehicle visualization, fuel optimization, vehicle utilization, facility insights, and driver coaching workflow.

KeepTruckin also gives up to a $200 saving on each new ELD solution when you switch from your current provider, plus a free Dashcam.

Main Features

  • Automatic Log Auditing: The device analyzes the logs automatically and alerts the driver and manager of any HOS violations. The device continues to track the vehicle even in instances when the driver has not connected the device to their smartphone or tablet.
  • GPS Tracking: The device records and sends real-time GPS location data, so you know where your vehicle is or has been in an instant.
  • IFTA Fuel Tax Reporting: The device automatically calculates fuel purchases and distances traveled by jurisdiction, reducing the workload needed to file your IFTA fuel tax. Drivers and managers can import fuel receipts individually or in bulk by scanning the receipts or uploading a CSV file.
  • Smart Dashcam: The dashcam solution sends a recording of incidents like hard braking, sharp cornering, speeding, and other abnormal events to the manager’s dashboard. These videos can be used to educate drivers or exonerate them in traffic accident events. You can have a camera that is only focused on the road ahead or have a dual-facing camera that captures both the driver and the road ahead.
  • Fleet Safety and Coaching: The device can monitor driving behavior and trends to provide driver coaching opportunities and automatically tag dashcam footage so managers and drivers can review those videos later. This in-app coaching reduces your workload and improves driver performance, which can lead to significant savings in fuel and repair costs and a rise in revenue.
  • Vehicle Utilization: This allows you to monitor idling time to help you eliminate excessive idling and lower your fleet’s fuel consumption. The device automatically records idling times and creates detailed reports across your fleet that can be analyzed to reveal trends and identify who needs further coaching.
  • Vehicle Inspection: Use customizable inspection forms from the dashboard to create regulation-compliant inspections. Drivers have access to a vehicle’s inspection history through their apps before driving. Managers can set up custom alerts to keep on top of vehicle defects and inspection.
  • Vehicle Diagnostics: Get real-time alerts when the system automatically detects any fault codes. The system can highlight recurring fault codes so you can keep on top of vital issues.
  • Messaging: Fleet managers and drivers can communicate through the dashboard’s instant messaging feature. The messages can be sent to individual drivers, groups of drivers, or everyone in the fleet. Drivers can reply to the message with documents, photos, text messages, and share their location with a single click.
  • Driver Workflow: The App lets you streamline dispatch operations. The driver automatically gets a message on their phone the moment a fleet manager assigns it to them. The dispatch manager has information on driver’s HOS status and location so they can assign the load to the best driver for the job. You can even integrate your current dispatch solution into the KeepTruckin dashboard using their Open API
  • Facility Insights: Get detailed warehouse information to help streamline how you schedule loads. Optimize your truck’s arrival time to the warehouse to keep wait times to a minimum. The dashboard lets you get tips from other drivers and know what to expect from the shipper before taking on a load. This can let you plan for a more efficient load pick-up and drop-off.
  • In-Cab WiFi Hotspot: The vehicle gateway comes with a built-in WiFi hotspot that connects to a super-fast 4G LTE network for real-time data transmission. Drivers get free 500MB of data each month, so they don’t have to buy data plans. The WiFi Hotspot allows the device to send real-time location, HOS, and event information back to the office without having to use mobile data.
  • Other features include asset tracking and geo-fencing.

Our Final Thoughts

KeepTruckin is our number one recommended ELD device because it is cheap, complies fully with the requirements of the ELD Mandate, offers some excellent fleet management features, and helps save you money.